Students can be a wonderful source of ongoing rental income, especially since many students either choose not to live on campus after their freshman year, or the campus simply does not provide enough student housing to meet the needs of all the students. If you have a well maintained rental property, near campus, or popular campus hangouts – you can be sure to expect continuous rental income year after year.
Are you interested in renting your property to students? Take a look at the top 6 things student renters are looking for to make their living situation in college as seamless as possible, after all, they have plenty of other things to worry about, why should housing be something else to add to that list?
1. Easy to Locate Listing(s)
Did you know that the overwhelming majority of renters check out a property online before booking an appointment or signing the lease? Students who are already used to finding everything online will start there first. If you do not have an optimized online presence, you won’t appeal to student renters. These tech-savvy renters are looking for high-quality pictures, videos, virtual tours, and positive reviews as many times the people whose opinions matter most, such as family and friends won’t be able to make an in-person tour.
With these few additions – your rental(s) should move to the top of the listings and these tips, along with the ideas found below, should help you go from struggling to find renters – to having your choice of qualified tenants.
2. Finding is only the beginning – Consider Amenities or Incentives to Attract more Student Renters
Remember, that finding your property is only the first step. When your student renters have located your property online – they will look at pictures and reviews to see what can be expected. Do you include amenities or incentives that appeal to students?
High-speed internet is probably one of the top must-have items for a college student. Being able to study or “Netflix and Chill” in their bedroom rather than trekking to the library constantly is going to be a big bonus.
And speed is important – most large metro areas offer high-speed internet that can handle multiple streaming devices at one time – but make sure if you are renting to 4 tenants in one property that the internet coverage is sufficient for that load.
3. Safety: The College Campus Dilemma
We have all heard the stories of students who disappear – and you can bet families and students themselves don’t want to become a statistic. Having safety features at the property is becoming more and more of a priority for both students and concerned parents. Install an alarm, outdoor motion-sensored floodlights, cameras, and deadbolts to create a safer environment for students and their families.
And obviously, when looking to purchase a rental property specifically to cater to students make sure you are focused on the safer areas near campus.
4. Make the Bill Simple: Do they Know What they are Getting?
In your online listing, be sure to include the amenities that not everyone thinks of – such as gas, electric, trash, and water – you may even consider throwing a Netflix or Hulu subscription for the house – or a Roku or Amazon player to further incentivize the student crowd.
Also, mention lawn care and any electrical or plumbing maintenance as this is definitely not something you want students managing on their own. You could also consider adding a storage shed either outside the home or additional storage in a basement space – as many students come with their own sets of things that they may not use if roommates have similar or better items.
5. Must-Have Appliances
On-site laundry not only saves student’s money but time as well – and we all know time is money. Having an on-site washer and dryer as well as a dishwasher (that isn’t their mother) will not only save students time – but the added frustration that comes with having to do roommates dishes.
Additionally, you may want to at least partially furnish the space – and include items such as a microwave, couch, or small desks in each room. You may also want to take a look at outlets since nearly everything we own requires one now. Having a sufficient number in the living areas as well as in the bedrooms will add functionality and ease to the life of any student. You may want to also consider the number of parking spaces in relation to the number of rooms that are being rented out. If you have 5 rooms for rent, and only one off-street parking space, students may find a different spot to call home.
6. Location, Location, Location:
If your property is close to nightlife, a pool, school campus or the library or rec center you will probably be able to charge a little more. Are there a lot of students in the area? College students often like to be around other students so renting a home next to an elderly couple is probably necessarily ideal for either party.
If you are willing to take these tips and tricks and use them when purchasing or up-fitting a rental property for student use – you can make your properties more appealing and get more renters and get higher rents.
Here are some of the great universities in and around Philadelphia that Bay Management Group provides Philadelphia Property Management around.